Bolton boss Owen Coyle is convinced the Trotters will reclaim their Barclays Premier League status at the first opportunity.
Wanderers were condemned to npower Championship football for the first time in 11 years after they could only draw 2-2 at Stoke on Sunday.
Coyle said: "Of course it's horrible. It's such a wonderful club, and we will have that again. We're hurting dropping down to the Championship but we'll bounce back at the first attempt, I'm convinced of that because of the quality we've got."
Bolton went into the match knowing victory coupled with defeat for QPR at Manchester City would see them safe but, with Rangers beating City, Jon Walters levelled matters at the Britannia Stadium from the penalty spot.
The dramatic turnaround that saw City win and take the title only made things worse for Bolton as it dawned on them after the final whistle that it had been in their own hands after all.
Coyle's position is not thought to be under threat despite relegation, and he insisted the club is in a healthy state financially and will not be forced to sell their best players.
On his own future, he said: "That's not up to me. If Tim Ream's header goes in - you don't become a bad manager because somebody makes a save.
"I know the young players I've brought in and how good they're going to be. Regarding the players out of contract, it's not an issue because I've already sorted things out with one or two and there'll be some that are moving on anyway.
"Maybe in the past this club has paid far too much money to players. The plan we put in place was going to serve the club for years to come. The disappointment is we're out of the Barclays Premier League, but we'll come back bigger and stronger."
Bolton began nervously and Stoke had already gone close on several occasions when they took a controversial 13th-minute lead, Jon Walters appearing to head the ball out of Adam Bogdan's hands.
But the visitors fought back and, after Kevin Davies had hit the bar and Ivan Klasnic had been denied by a brilliant Thomas Sorensen save, they levelled in the 40th minute when Robert Huth's attempted clearance hit Mark Davies and flew in.
Five minutes later Bolton were ahead thanks to a second fortuitous goal, this time Kevin Davies mis-hitting a cross that somehow beat Sorensen at his near post.
The second half was rather flat, events at the Etihad understandably casting a big shadow, but in the 77th minute Walters tucked away his penalty after Peter Crouch had been felled by Bogdan, who had initially done well to save the England man's shot.
Bolton desperately sought a response and almost got it in injury time but Tim Ream's header was kept out by Sorensen.